Scammers asking for credit card security codes

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - A new credit card scam is moving across the country and may be headed to the CSRA, according to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

This scam is different because the scammers already have your credit or debit card number, according to the sheriff's office. The scammers are just looking for one piece of information: the three-digit security code on the back of your card.

The callers say they're from the security and fraud department of VISA or MasterCard, according to the sheriff's office. They then tell you they're investigating an unusual purchase on your card and that they're going to issue a credit to your account.

They say they need the security code to verify that you haven't had your card stolen or lost. Once the scammers get the security code, purchases for thousands of dollars show up on your credit or debit card.

Deputies and bank officials say if these scammers target you, you should not give out your security code. Instead, you should call number on the back of your card to see if you really do have fraudulent charges on your card.

Here's an example from Royal Bank of how the scam works:

SCAMMER: This is (name) and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an anti-telemarketing device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?


SCAMMER: Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching, and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address). Is that correct?


SCAMMER: I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1-800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for security. You will need to refer to this control number. (The caller then gives you a six-digit number.) Do you need me to read it again?

SCAMMER: I need to verify you are in possession of your card. Turn your card over and look for some numbers. There are seven numbers. The first 4 are part of your card number and the last three are the security numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. Could you read the last three numbers to me?

CARD HOLDER: (Reads three-digit security code.)

SCAMMER: That is correct. I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?


SCAMMER: Don't hesitate to call back if you do.

VISA officials told deputies they'll never ask for any information on the card because, as the issuer of the card, they already know the information.

VISA and MasterCard are advising victims of the scam to file police reports.

Copyright 2014 WFXG. All rights reserved.